A Bed in the sticks, Lee Dunne’s sequel to Goodbye to the Hill opens with the hero, Paddy Maguire returning to Ireland after a short and dismal sojourn to England. He is bowed but undeaten and with his usual optimism embarks on an exploration of stage craft with a touring theatrical company as it winds its way through the small towns of 1950s rural Ireland. Paddy’s theatrics on and off the stage, make for a warm, funny and insightful perspective on the times and the growing pains of a man/boy.
Lee Dunne was born in 1934, and after early years working as a stage performer and barman/cabbie in London he had first and most successful novel Goodbye to the Hill published in 1965. A dramatised version was produced in 1978 and Dunne has written many radio scripts, plays, television scripts and films. In Ireland, Goodbye to the Hill was a cause celebre of the time because of its explicit sexual content and its honest portrayal of the other side of leafy Rathmines – the squalor and poverty of the tenements of the “Hill” Lee Dunne has rejoiced in the title of the most banned author in Ireland, starting with his novel Paddy Maguire is Dead, chronicling the spiraling decent into alcoholism of its eponymous character and his redemption. The film based on Goodbye to the Hill was also banned together with his film Wedding Night, a touching and insightful look at a young couple’s struggle with sexual intimacy. His “cabbie” novel Midnight Cabbie (1976) was the last book to be banned by the infamous 1929 censorship act. He was most notably the voice associated with the suppressed voice of 1950s Ireland with his novel Does Your Mother being selected as the quintessential novel of 50’s Dublin and he received critical acclaim for A Bed in the Sticks as a sequel to Goodbye to the Hill. He continues to write into the 21st century and lives with his wife in Greystones, Co Wicklow, Ireland